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Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Science
Year : 2003, Volume : 51, Issue : 3
First page : ( 223) Last page : ( 228)
Print ISSN : 0019-638X.

Water use efficiency of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) in catenary soils as influenced by varying rainfall

Mandal D.K.*, Khandare N.C., Mandal C., Challa O.

National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning, Amravati Road, Nagpur, Maharashtra, 440010.

*Corresponding author.

Received:  September,  2002; Accepted:  August,  2003.

Abstract

A study was conducted during 1987–1992 in catenary swell-shrink soils of Nagpur to identify the best sorghum-suitable soil. The study area was in a micro-watershed with an area of 75 ha and located about 22 km west of Nagpur in dry sub-humid ecosystem. The geomorphic analysis of the soil catena identified six distinct geomorphic units, namely, hill top, escarpment, pediment, upper piedmont plain, lower piedmont plain and narrow valley. The studied soils were Lithic Haplustepts (P1) occurring on pediment surfaces, Typic Haplustepts (P2) on upper piedmont, Vertic Haplustepts (P3) on lower piedmont and Typic Haplusterts occurring on narrow valley. Sorghum variety (CSH-9) was sown in strips in kharif season in all the years during third week of June under recommended package of practices given by PDKV, Akola. It has been found that water use for shallow to deep soil varied from 247.4 to 351.4 mm for rainfed sorghum under dry sub-humid ecosystem and coefficient of actual evapotranspiration (ETa) variation was least (17.6%) for P3 soil over the years. In the normal rainfall year ETa did not vary much but yield varied significantly among soils indicating that the ETa was not the sole contributing factor for the yield formation but soil edaphic condition played a significant role. The average water use efficiency (WUE) varied from 8.85 to 15.36 kg ha−1 mm−1. The lowest coefficient of variation and highest value of WUE were observed for P3 soil, indicating the sustainability of the Vertic Haplustepts in sorghum production in the present climatic aberration, which needs preservation for profitable sorghum cultivation.

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Key words

Drought, sustainability, swell-shrink soil.

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